Skip to main content

Basic Literature Research Guide: Doing Literary Research

This is a basic introductory guide to doing literary research.

Primary Sources - Monographs

Getting Started and Background Resources

Basic Background/Context Resources

Literature-Specific Background Resources

Online Catalog

Use the library's online catalog to locate books and other materials.

  • To find books on a theme or issue in an author's work, enter the name of the author/work and a term that best conveys the issue you are researching, e.g. Macbeth and feminis* (the asterisk is a truncation symbol that allows for word variants, such as feminist or feminism)
  • To find books about a literary author or other figure, change the dropdown menu to "Subject" and enter the person's name; to limit results to literary criticism, add  the term  "criticism."
  • Change the "Relevance" sorting menu to "Date Descending" to retrieve more recent books first. 
  • Click on Table of Contents tab to view table of contents/chapter titles information for the book.
  • Click on "Subjects" lines to view additional books on related subjects.

Journal Databases

Multipurpose Databases 

Literary Criticism Databases

Other Databases Of Interest

Need help? Chat with us